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Unions criticise "authoritarian" colleges

Instructors at Switzerland's technical colleges have complained about larger and "authoritarian" administrations within the higher education system.

This content was published on May 19, 2008 - 16:01

Monday's protest by trade unions and the Association of Lecturers of Switzerland came as the government and industry praised the employment prospects of graduates, saying these were the best in the country.

However, college faculty members and unions claim that the institutions are suffering from increasingly bloated bureaucracies that drain research and teaching resources.

The lecturers have called for a "radical rethink" of the way in which school administration is balanced with teaching.

In a few months, some 8,000 students will hold bachelors' degrees from technical colleges, granted for the first time by institutions outside the university system in Switzerland.

The scheme is in line with the Bologna process, an agreement standardising higher education within Europe.

The vast majority of this year's graduating students will enter directly into the labour force, according to the economics ministry and the Swiss Business Federation.

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